The Beginning of Pressed Pennies

Did you know that the first pressed penny was created all the way back in 1893 for the World's Columbian Exposition?

The World’s Columbian Exposition

In 1893 the city of Chicago held The World’s Columbian Exposition to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World in 1492.

Souvenirs play an important part in World's Fairs and the 1893 World's Fair was no exception. It was at this World's Fair that a new type of souvenir was born, the pressed penny.

The Pressed Penny is Born

It was at this spectacular event, in 1893, that United States coinage was elongated in the process of rolling.  For the first time ever, publicly, for those visitors in the Electricity Building at the Columbian World’s Fair Exposition, the [sic] American coins were intentionally mutilated for the purpose of souvenir specimens commemorating the celebration; an event which in effect opened a whole new facet in numismatics history.  And, as a matter of fact, these rolled-out keepsakes were the first ever to be given full recognition and recorded in a numismatic bulletin. In 1894, appearing in the American Journal of Numismatics, Vol. 28, pages 65 and 67 (Jan., April 1894).

Encyclopedia of the Modern Elongated